Magical academies make fantastic focal points for campaigns—for all classes. These schools give PCs a powerful patron to support their adventures. They provide quests and access to magical resources and arcane learning. The grounds serve as a base of operations, and a target for villainous machinations. And, they make excellent introductions to roleplaying for those familiar with a particular boy wizard.
Player options available in Tome of Heroes and Deep Magic give every class greater access to magic abilities. Now there’s even more reason to run this style of campaign with the arrival of the Deep Magic 2 Kickstarter campaign. Read closely and see if you can get a peek of some of the new material inside!
If you’ve just arrived, catch up on the school’s founding and first-year classes and side quests in the archive.
If you thought that first year was difficult, you better pack an extra potion of healing for sophomore studies.
While first-years had limited choice, the PCs now have options in their course load.
- Each student takes the intermediate level courses that begin to teach them more about their magical style, including new spells and class features. Not every classmate picks up this new material, and the PCs might get to mentor (or be mentored) by a classmate.
- Students can take courses that highlight the overlap between the school’s magical styles. Ask your players what they would learn by taking a course on Ritual-Doom Magic, Pyromancy-True Name Magic, or even Pestilent-Spirit Magic.
- Megy Ozni, the conservatory’s latest enchantment professor and chair of the fey magic style, also teaches the Ethics of the Arcane. Most classes devolve into shouting matches, as the professor questions the very morality underpinning the practice of arcane, divine, and pact magic. This is different from other professors, who have students practice magic as part of their ethical studies.
With a simple understanding of magic under their belts, the Conservatory sends students out into the field. Unlike upperclassmen who learn by adventuring, the conservatory sends sophomores to gather spell components.
These tasks can still be dangerous! It’s just a manageable danger. And the bodies are easier to retrieve when the accidents happen.
- Drawing the short straw, the PCs get the crap job. Shovels in hand, they’re sent to caves in a nearby mountain range to collect bat guano for fireball spells. What should be an easy (albeit stinky) task grows complicated when the PCs are attacked by swarms of bats under the command of a werebat(see Creature Codex) named Denever. He realizes the value of the droppings and won’t surrender them without coin (which isn’t in the academy’s budget).
- A ship named the Verfskib was sailing for the conservatory’s home port with a chest filled with diamonds worth 50 gp and pearls worth 100 gp to be used by the incoming freshmen learning to cast chromatic orb and identify. After the ship sank on the shoals west of the port, the scholarch orders the PCs to salvage whatever they can find. While the potions of water breathing help to reach the shipwreck, the duffel crab(see Tome of Beasts 3) has been hoarding the supplies. If they defeat the crab and its giant pufferfish pals (see Tome of Beasts 3), the scholarch might even let the PCs keep the crab’s bag of holding.
- To cast her signature spell, bones of stone (see Deep Magic 1), Professor Sigra Furnyng requires a stream of bone slivers. She offers extra credit to anyone who returns with one hundred slivers, and a friendly NPC has a lead on some loose skeletons. Unfortunately, two unhatched (see Creature Codex) have claimed the skeletons as their own and will fight to protect them.
The Art of Crafting
As part of downtime, students can learn how to brew common potions. Skill in making these magical items can help the students with their other studies. This can provide them with funds to pay for new tomes—or even replacement robes, in the event of wild elemental combustion.
Sophomores with an aptitude for alchemy and tinctures may learn to brew potions. While some use this skill to further their careers, most sell their potions for beer money. This is frowned upon by the scholarch, who catches one or more PCs after failing to properly brew a potion. While serving a weekend-long detention disposing of improperly scribed scrolls, the PCs come across three arcane eyes that are mapping out the lower levels of the Vistravani Academy.
Work Hard—Party Harder
The students are another year older and another year wiser. As such, the academy begins looking the other way as the students take breaks to enjoy campus life.
- The PCs inadvertently go to a tavern favored by students of the Masi Institute. To avoid a bar brawl, the PCs must win a series of games combining arcane magic and the local swill.
- After a long night of poor choices, the PCs stumble into the conservatory’s laundry facilities, intent on cleaning the magical lint traps. While cleaning, the PCs overhear the scholarch interrogating someone in Draconic about their bond with “the old worm.”
For the last year, the scholarch has trapped the mighty dragonborn warlock Knastrumff in the academy’s basement in hopes that his patron, an Ancient Dragon (see Tome of Heroes), would descend from on high and save his servant. Knashtrumff played along with the scholarch’s questioning as other servants of the Ancient Dragon plotted to rescue the dragonborn warlock.
Coming Up Next: Graduation
Check back each Tuesday for the next four weeks during the Deep Magic 2 Kickstarter campaign. Learn how to craft adventure hooks for magical academies that you might use for low, medium, and high level adventures.